ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Dibutyl phthalate.
Colourless oily liquid with a faint odour. INCOMPATIBILITY
Heating produces acid fumes. Dibutyl phthalate is incompatible with liquid chlorine with which it reacts explosively. It can also react with oxidising materials.
This substance is moderately toxic when ingested causing gastro­intestinal tract disturbances. It is an eye irritant and can be harmful if the liquid is inhaled when it is used as a spray. Damage to the respiratory system can occur if spray droplets are inhaled and especially at elevated temperatures. It reacts explosively with liquid chlorine.
Avoid eye contact.
Avoid inhalation if used in a spray.
Avoid ingestion.
Keep away from heat.
Keep away from oxidising materials.
Keep away from chlorine.
Wash hands thoroughly after handling.
Wear protective clothing to avoid eye contact and if using as a spray wear a respirator. A long sleeved laboratory coat or gown, rubber gloves, safety goggles as a minimum standard.
Skin ­ no reaction, wash the affected area with water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes).
Eyes ­ immediately wash the affected eye with large amounts of water until all evidence of the chemical has been removed (approximately 15 minutes). If irritation persists seek medical attention.
Inhalation ­ remove from the area of exposure to fresh air. Keep warm and allow to rest. If respiratory distress continues seek medical attention.
Ingestion ­ wash out the mouth with water and seek immediate medical attention.
Store in a cool, dry atmosphere away from heat and incompatible substances.
Rubber gloves, face shield and laboratory coat. Have an all purpose canister respirator available.
A gas leak: keep the concentration of the gas below the explosive mixture range by forced ventilation. Remove the tank to an open area and allow dissipation to the atmosphere. Attempt to cap the valve outlet and return the tank to the supplier.
A liquid: absorb on paper. Evaporate in an iron pan in a flame proof fume hood then burn the paper.
A solid: sweep on to paper and place in an iron pan in a fume hood. Burn the paper and compound.
A gas leak: pipe the gas into an incinerator or lower into a pit and allow to burn.
A liquid: atomise into an incinerator. Combustion may be improved by mixing with a more flammable solvent.
A solid: make up packages in paper or other flammable material. Burn in the incinerator. Or the solid may be dissolved in a flammable solvent and sprayed into a fire chamber.


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